The Chicago Steel made forward Brian Christie the first overall pick in the 2011 USHL Entry Draft.
Follow draft results live at www.USHLDraft.com
"It is definitely an honor for sure," said Christie after receiving the news of his top selection. "It feels great but I know there is a lot more work to do."
The 19-year-old from West Chester, Pennsylvania was a point-per-game player this season as he collected 57 points (20g, 37a) in 57 regular season games for the Topeka RoadRunners of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Six of his goals were game-winners as he helped Topeka earn the regular season championship by posting a league-best record of 43-12-3 (89 points). Christie tied for the NAHL lead with a plus-38 rating. He also put up 11 points (4g, 7a) in 13 playoff games before Topeka was eliminated from the postseason.
"We are excited to have Brian as the number one pick," said Scott McConnell, Chicago Steel Head Coach/GM. "Brian brings us experience having success this past season in a good league. He is battle tested and has received excellent coaching from the Topeka staff."
The 6-2, 180-pound forward was described by one USHL scout as a "good-sized centerman who skates well and protects the puck while also is not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice and is strong in front of the net."
Christie is excited to begin his USHL career and will soon start his training for the 2011-12 season as he knows the jump to the USHL level is his next challenge.
"I have always been told the USHL is the top league and how hard it is to make it on teams like that. It is exciting."
Growing up near Philadelphia, it is no surprise that Christie is a self-described "huge Philadelphia Flyers fan" and hopes to someday live out the dream of playing in the NHL. As a youth, he was part of the Jr. Flyers hockey program.
Christie also has college hockey plans for his future as he is committed to attend Merrimack College following his junior hockey career.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its ninth season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2010-11. With over 250 players this season already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 18 NHL Entry Draft picks that were on League rosters, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.